According to Sega’s AOU portal, there will be a “new” version of Guilty Gear on display at AOU 2012 this weekend! The game is tentatively titled Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, and it seems to be a backport of console’s AC Plus to arcade. The game will be on the NESICA x Live system, which is the same thing that BlazBlue uses. Information is scarce right now, so a lot of what I’m writing here is speculation, but based on the screenshots it seems like it will retain the game’s original 4:3 ratio by adding sidebars. It also looks like Justice and Kliff will be playable!
A lot of people are wondering as to whether the game will be re-balanced or not. And if not that, then if Kliff and Justice will be re-balanced. Personally, I’d like for them to keep the game the way it is and just re-balance Kliff and Justice(if they’re indeed playable). And the main reason for that is because I feel Accent Core is the most balanced and dynamic game in the entire series: any kind of adjustment could totally mess that up. You might argue that ArcSys has a mountain of experience at this point of time, and that any changes they make to Guilty Gear will be done carefully, but I don’t have that kind of faith! Accent Core is a weird game, and I like to describe it as a game that’s “accidentally” balanced. When you look at the changes from Slash->AC, it’s almost as if they just pulled some random ideas out of a hat and added them. My impression is that the game probably wasn’t carefully and intentionally balanced; it just got lucky and ended up being pretty balanced.
But then I also have to look at this from the arcade operator point of view. The NESICA x Live hardware is really expensive. If the new Guilty Gear is just exactly the same as Accent Core, it’s doubtful that arcade operators would want to pay all that extra money for essentially the same game when they could get it for much less on the Naomi system. So it seems to me like there must be some kind of rebalancing or new character additions to make it a worthwhile purchase for arcade operators.
But we’ll see how it goes. There should be more information released this weekend, and there’s even a chance that it will get some streamtime on the Sega AOU2012 ustream channel. Hopefully this is a step closer in getting that Accent Core next-gen console part!